What Does It Mean To Dream Of Falling?

A dream of falling can be one of the most vivid dream scenarios to go through. It’s also damn terrifying, and that’s if you don’t have a phobia of falling. 

One of the best ways to break a nightmare’s hold over you is to figure out what it means, but there are many ways you might dream of falling.

You may dream of falling from a building, a cliff, or a huge height, or just have the sensation of falling while you are asleep.

But why does your brain choose to terrify you when that’s the last thing you need as you’re trying to wind down? What about dreams where you fall and feel utterly at peace? 

Let’s find out. 

At A Glance: Why Falling Dreams Happen

A dream of falling may occur when you are desperately trying to fight change in waking life, but there is no way to avoid them. A dream like this may come along to urge you to move with change, rather than to try and fight against it.

You may dream of falling when you are scared of being honest about how you feel, or what others will think of you if you show them the true you.

Another reason why you might dream of falling is when you’re desperately trying to avoid your responsibilities or obligations as hard as you can, and this will only make things worse for you in the long run.

Perhaps you’ve only been focusing on how you feel, and not how your actions affect others, and this may make your relationships suffer.

Why Am I Dreaming Of Falling?

One of the most common reasons you might dream of falling is when you feel powerless to control an element of your waking life, or you are plagued by indecision. 

As falling is rarely a conscious choice, in a dream falling relates to how you have lost control over some part of your life, or someone else has a lot of power over you, and controls a large portion of your life. 

If you dream of watching someone else fall, this can signify a heightened sense of the risk in someone else’s life.

As falling in a dream is very disconcerting, it may also relate to upheaval and great change in waking life. Maybe you’ve picked up on some subliminal signs that an element of your work life is about to change, where you will have more responsibility, or have to switch careers entirely.

It may also denote a change in your life’s pace. If you’re used to a slow-moving existence, you may notice that things pick up and get hectic, or if you like to live fast, you may find yourself forced to live at a slower pace than you’re comfortable with. 

A dream of falling may also occur when you are holding onto a lot of tension, negativity, or stress that you perhaps don’t let yourself feel during the day. 

If this is a recurring dream, it may be an idea to find ways that you can reduce your stress levels so that your life may improve.

It may sound strange, but sometimes you don’t realize the amount of stress you’re under until a troubling situation is over, where it takes you a long time to recover. 

It can be that you’re so focused on getting through this period that you may not realize you’re piling even more pressure on yourself than you need to.

You might also have this dream when your self-esteem is deeply tied into how your relationship or career is faring. If one of these is falling apart, you may have a dream of falling where this is affecting other areas of your life because you associate it with failure.

A dream like this also denotes an imbalance in your life. Perhaps you’re spending too much time working, and not enough time relaxing, or thinking about what it is that you actually want.

Maybe you’ve got far too much going on right now, leaving you feeling overwhelmed, and while you can multitask to an extent, you’re not able to give anything your full attention, and this is making things much worse than they need to be.

A dream of falling may suggest that you are utterly at your limit of how much stuff you can handle right now, and anything else might send you into burnout. 

This dream may be a call to reclaim some time for yourself in order to renew your energy, otherwise you will struggle much more than you need to. No one is a machine. 

Consider What You Are Falling From Or Into In Your Dream

A dream of falling can manifest in different ways, and what you are falling from or into can have very different meanings depending on the scenario.

A Dream Of Falling From A Plane Meaning

A dream where you fall from a plane is an interesting one, but unfortunately, it’s not a great sign. 

If you dream of falling from a plane, and you are terrified, this suggests that you’re about to be thrown into some important events, and you’ll find it tough to move through them. 

But a dream like this does denote that if you do manage to navigate them successfully, you will gain something you want. 

If you dream of getting hurt when you fall from a plane in your dream, this can suggest that your relationships are about to suffer, or there is a great imbalance between you and someone you love, and this may cause a great rift in your relationship.

Falling From The Sky In Your Dream

A dream where you fall from the sky suggests that you’ve lost the deep-seated feeling of self-reliance and confidence we all need to keep going in life. 

Bad circumstances have made you question everything about yourself, including your ability to cope with tough situations. 

You may be in the middle of a period of despair, where your motivation has all but died, and you don’t feel you can control any aspect of your life. 

This dream calls on you to find a respite, and work out how you may claw some of this control back for yourself, and take back your life.

Dreaming Of Falling From A Building

A dream where you fall from a building implies that you’re about to encounter some obstacles in life, or you’re going through some emotions that are difficult to deal with. 

It may be that you’ll need to reconsider your life path, as what was previously available to you may not be possible now. Some things end so that better things may come, though it may not seem like it at the time.

It could be that you should adjust your approach to a problem, as it might be much more complicated than you originally thought, and you’ll need a solution to match it.

A dream like this is common when you are experiencing heightened emotions in waking life. Maybe a situation isn’t what you thought it would be.

Falling From A Cliff, Roof, Or Another Troubling Height

What a worrying dream. This is the kind that might overshadow the rest of your day, making you more jumpy than you would be normally! 

A dream where you fall from a cliff, a roof, or another scary height is a ‘wake-up’ call. Something in your waking hours needs your attention, and it needs it now.

If you dream of falling off a castle roof, or a tower, this suggests that very difficult times are ahead of you, similar to the Tower tarot card.

A Cliff Edge In Your Dream

Standing on the edge of a cliff in your dream can suggest that you need to make sure you’re looking at the big picture of your life, not just the immediate present. 

Take a look at how you feel about your life, anything you’re struggling with, and how you feel about what your purpose might be, and how your work life is going.

A cliff edge appearing in your dream may indicate that you need to have a clear head going forward, so make sure you’re aware of things now as objectively as possible. 

It may be that a situation will call on you to really chase your dreams, but you have to know what you want in order to do this! 

Consider also if you wake up when you fall, or if you reach the ground or the sea, or something completely unexpected, like a desert, a hotel room, or something else entirely. 

This kind of detail can add additional insight into your dream or change the message your subconscious is trying to get across completely, so consider anything you remember carefully.

A Dream Where You Fall ‘Inside’ The Ground

Imagine that you’re walking along a sidewalk as normal, and then the ground opens up, and you’re falling, and all you’re doing is falling! What a horrible dream. 

Consider the phrase ‘the ground falls out from under you’, denoting a loss of stability or something that you expected to be constant.

It may be that something you expect to always be in your life will change shape soon, or you’ll lose it entirely. 

A dream like this may be a call to always trust your intuition, and keep an objective eye on the present, instead of trying to predict the future, or looking back on the past. 

Perhaps you’re trying to solve problems before they start, but ironically you may be focusing on the wrong things and creating more issues for yourself.

This dream may also be a call to stay grounded in your life. Perhaps you’ve been feeling disconnected from the events of your life, or the people around you.

Falling In An Elevator Shaft In Your Dream

Argh! Out of all the dreams on this list, this is probably the most frightening. A dream where you fall in an elevator shaft doesn’t have a positive meaning, either. 

It suggests that you’re about to encounter more than a few problems in your professional life. You may meet a series of obstacles that will be difficult to unravel, and you’ll need a concrete plan in place in order to get things sorted.

Maybe you’re already in a tough situation that you can’t get out of by yourself, or something is threatening an aspect of your life that has always meant security to you. You feel worried to the core.

Dreaming Of Falling And Hitting Something

If your dream involves a fall that comes to an end, this suggests that you are deeply worried about something, or a relationship in your life is suffering. 

Maybe you don’t feel you can be honest with this person, but it may be vital that you clear the air in order to repair this connection between you. 

This dream may also encourage you to look deeper at your emotions in waking life, as there may be something you’re missing. Perhaps your instincts are trying to tell you something.

Falling Into Water In Your Dream

A dream where you fall into water can happen when you are ignoring your emotions in waking life to your spiritual peril. 

Water in dreams traditionally signifies your emotions, so being thrown or to fall into water implies that you’re about to be submerged in emotional turmoil, and you will struggle to see things objectively. 

You will feel blocked in waking life, to the point where frustration will be your constant companion until you find a way to unpack this emotion and give it a healthy outlet, so that you may move on.

A dream like this denotes two outcomes in your waking life: either the problems in your life will be solved fairly easily, and you’ll find your self-confidence increasing, or what you’re hoping or scared of will manifest, and you’ll have to come to terms with this.

A dream like this urges you to make sure you are kind to yourself. Treat yourself how you would treat a friend, and you will regain your balance eventually. Ensure that you keep busy, but you also have time to relax, too.

Consider also the state of the water in your dream. If it is calm and still, there is an alternative interpretation to consider. 

It suggests that you are using this dream to explore the emotional memories or feelings hidden in your subconscious, allowing you to stay in tune with your intuition and emotions in waking life.

Dreaming Of Falling And Landing Somewhere Safe

A dream where you fall isn’t so bad when it means a safe landing. It also denotes a positive change coming for you in waking life. 

It may seem terrifying at first, but your self-confidence and your faith in your abilities and your support network will see you through any uncertainty, into a place where you can enjoy new opportunities.

Watching Others Fall In Your Dream

A dream where you watch other people fall can denote how you feel you’re losing your grip in a situation in waking life. However, this isn’t as bad as it sounds, if there is a soft landing for the people in your dream.

It denotes that you will find new opportunities in waking life to your advantage, ones that you would not have predicted. 

A landing that will cause a lot of pain or death in your dream denotes an uncomfortable situation in waking life that will force you to change an aspect of your life, or switch up your lifestyle as a whole.

Consider also who is falling in your dream, as this can add further insight into your dream.

There is also an element of helplessness in your dream. Perhaps in waking life you’re trying to fight to avoid change as much as you can, but sometimes you just have to go with change rather than trying to fight it.

If you dream of watching others fall out of a window or a plane, this denotes great fear in waking life, and how you don’t trust others, or even yourself, when things get difficult.

A Dream Where You Feel As Though You’re Falling

Usually, the falling sensation occurs just as you’re about to fall asleep, and when you’re worried about things in your waking hours. 

Just as these anxieties try to follow you into sleep, the brain can sense a sort of danger. This feeling of risk mingles with your tiredness, and the combination causes the falling sensation.

You may also get this uncomfortable feeling when your blood pressure drops as you’re about to sleep, or you have a muscle spasm, both of which can still be caused by stress.

If you do dream of that falling sensation when you’re asleep, it’s worth looking at the meaning behind this dream. 

This vivid feeling of falling denotes how you’re worried about losing something that gives you a lot of security in life, such as an important relationship or something you hope will always be in your life.

A dream where you fall, but you don’t feel like you’re falling implies that you’re worried you will fail at something. 

This dream often happens when you think you don’t have a lot of security somewhere in your life, and you worry what you do have will be taken away from you.

Alternative Dream Interpretations Of Falling

It’s worth considering less widely-accepted dream interpretations, as sometimes they can be more applicable to your dream than the modern ones. 

A dream where you fall in slow motion implies that you need to reconcile with yourself in terms of a choice you’ve made. You may not even know if it was right or wrong, but you have made it, and it’s time to move on. 

If you dream of someone you know and love falling, this suggests that this person can make you feel you don’t have a say in your life sometimes.

A dream where you fall from your bed implies that you have an underlying drive to succeed in every area of life, but it may also be a signal that you’re ‘returning’ to your physical body from the dream world.

A dream like this may also come to you when you cannot be with someone romantically, and this feels as though it has destroyed you in some way. 

Maybe you were in a relationship with this person, and it ended badly, and now you have no idea what to do next.

Carl Jung had some interesting ideas about dreams of falling. He theorized that a dream of falling suggests that your goals don’t match the reality of a situation, or you don’t yet have the skills for such a goal.

There is a discrepancy between what you want and what is possible, and this dream may also denote loss, and misfortune.

A dream of falling may also occur when you need to ground yourself spiritually, and make sure that you are responsible for your own success. 

It may also be a call to overcome any insecurities that are holding you back from achieving what you want, and what you are capable of. 

Falling Dream Summary

  • Falling in a dream: powerlessness, losing control
  • Falling from a plane: struggle in waking life
  • Falling and landing in water: overwhelmed by your emotions
  • A safe landing when you fall: significant change in your life
  • Other people falling: a fresh start
  • Falling from a cliff: improve your perception of the present
  • Falling from the sky: lost motivation, hope, or security
  • Falling from a building: emotional problems
  • Falling into the ground: stick to your guns
  • Falling into an elevator shaft: problems at work, loss of security
  • Falling out of bed: you want to succeed no matter what

Positive Change Is Coming, If:

  • Your dream was peaceful or enjoyable
  • You enjoyed the height you were standing at, the view and the freedom it gave you
  • You had a soft landing
  • Someone else was falling

Time For A Rethink, If:

  • You are terrified after this dream, or during it
  • You wake with a start
  • The fear follows you into your waking life 

Final Thoughts

A dream of falling may be absolutely vivid to the point where it is frightening, but it is also a useful dream worth looking into. Usually, a dream like this is trying to grab your attention as best as your subconscious can.

A dream like this may draw your attention to something you’ve been ignoring or unaware of, or of future problems that you will feel more prepared for when they finally show up.


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